Kings (Tom Collins, 2008)

For my last seminar class in Vienna, we are viewing and discussing Tom Collins' evocative, painful portrait of Irish men struggling to survive materially and emotionally in London having left the west of Ireland in their youth in the 1970s. The film is in Irish and English is based on Jimmy Murphy's stage play - originally produced by Red Kettle out of Waterford - but played in the Tricycle London. It's a film which is haunted - literally - by the suicide of one of a group of friends, and it stands as exploration of what belonging means, what home is and how people deal with long-term dislocation.  The film was criticised for its use of Irish - the accents were not evenly Conamara - but its visualisation of London, opening out the one room bar set of the stage version - into a series of transitory or sanctuary spaces - street corners, shops, alleyways, as well as cramped bedsits, airport morgue, Church, bars and fast-food outlets - strikes me as capturing well one generation's experience of London. Let's see what the Austrian students make of it.  Here is the trailer.  The full film as Gaeilge is here: